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The money paid, our bard was hurried

To the philosopher's sanctorum,
Who, somewhat sublimized and flurried,

Out of his chemical de um,
Crow'd, caper’d, giggled, seem’d to spurn his
Crucibles, retort, and furnace,
And cried, as he secured the door,

And carefully put to the shutter,
Now, now, the secret I implore;

For God's sake, speak, discover, utter!”
With grave and solemn look, the poet
Cried_" List_Oh, list! for thus I show it:-
Let this plain truth those ingrates strike,
Who still, though bless'd, new blessings crave,

all have what we like, Simply by liking what we have !"

That we may

The Astronomical Alderman.

The pedant or scholastikos became

The butt of all the Grecian jokes ;With us, poor Paddy bears the blame

Of blunders made by other folks ; Though we have certain civic sages

Term’d Aldermen, who perpetrate

Bulls as legitimate and great,

that the classic pages
Of old Hierocles can show,
Or Mr. Miller's, commonly call’d Joe.
One of these turtle-eating men,
Not much excelling in his spelling,

When ridicule he meant to brave,
Said he was more PH. than N.

Meaning thereby, more phool than nave, Though they who knew our cunning Thraso Pronounced it flattery to say so.

His civic brethren to express

His “ double double toil and trouble,”
And bustling noisy emptiness,

Had christen’d him Sir Hubble Bubble.
This wight ventripotent was dining
Once at the Grocers' Hall, and lining

With calipee and calipash
That tomb omnivorous-his paunch,
Then on the haunch

Inflicting many a horrid gash,
When, having swallow'd six or seven

Pounds, he fell into a mood

Of such supreme beatitude,
That it reminded him of Heaven,
And he began with mighty bonhomie

To talk astronomy.
“Sir,” he exclaim'd between his bumpers,

“Copernicus and Tycho Brahe,

And all those chaps have had their day;
They've written monstrous lies, Sir,--thumpers ! -
Move round the sun?--it's talking treason;
The earth stands still-it stands to reason.
Round as a globe ?-stuff-humbug-fable !
It's a flat sphere, like this here table,
And the sun overhangs this sphere,
Ay-just like that there chandelier.”
“ But,” quoth his neighbour,“ when the sun
From East to West his course has run,
How comes it that he shows his face
Next morning in his former place ?"
“ Ho! there's a pretty question truly !"
Replied our wight with an unruly
Burst of laughter and delight,

So much his triumph seem'd to please him ;
Why, blockhead, he goes back at night,
And that's the reason no one sees him.”


Past and to come seem best; things present worst.


I INTENDED to have addressed this essay to Posterity, but I recollected the sarcasm levelled against the French author who dedicated an ode to the same personage--that it would never reach its destination; besides, I may inquire with the Irishman, “ What has Posterity ever done for us?” and why should we throw

away good advice, which will probably be unheard by the party for whom it was intended, and will be certainly unmerited ? As to Antiquity-the stream of time is the only one that cannot be navigated both ways; there is no steam-boat that can work against wind and tide, and carry a passenger or ą letter back to the fountain-head of events, or even to the last landmark that we passed in our voyage to the great ocean of Eternity. To say the truth, I have no respect whatever for that solemn bugbear, that shadowy quack, yclept Antiquity, whom I have always contemplated as a very grave impostor and reverend humbug (begging pardon for such a conjunction of phrases): and as to the good old times, of which every body talks so much and knows so little, which, like the horizon, keep flying farther backward as we attempt to approach them, I suspect that if we could once pounce upon them and subject them to our inspection, we should find them to be the very worst

times possible. The golden age is as much a fable as the golden fleece, or, if reducible to some rude elements of truth, they would not be much more magnificent than the celebrated Argonautic prize, which, divested of its poetical embellishments, was nothing more than an old sheepskin stretched across the river Phasis, to catch the particles of ore rolled down by its waters. This cant is regularly transmitted from generation to generation, and may be traced back to the revival of literature; * so that if there be any truth in the tradition, this past millennium must have flourished in the dark ages, and have expired without leaving a record of its existence. It is flattering to human pride to indulge in reveries of former happiness and perfection, because they infer a probability of their future recurrence; hence it is, that, not content with assigning a higher moral stature to our ancestors, we cling to the belief of their gigantic bodily proportions, despite of the evidence of history, of skeletons, and of Egyptians embalmed many centuries before our æra, who must have been a very diminu

* Horace bewailed the human declension of his time, and, prophesying its continuance, anticipated that his contemporaries were “ mox daturos progeniem vitiosiorem.” The learned Poggio, who was so instrumental in the revival of letters, noticing the prevalence of the same conceit in his days, says “ Nature always preserves a certain degree of motion, and it is the same in human nature. To pretend that the world is perpetually getting worse, is a declamation unsupported by any historical examination of different ages.”

tive race, unless they have shrunk terribly in the pickling

Bacon has exposed this egregious mistake, which, by confounding the world's duration with the successions of men, induces us to call those the old times in which the oldest writers and legislators flourished, and leads us by analogy to attribute to the world's infancy and inexperience that reverence which we properly feel for the wisdom of individual age. The times in which we live are in reality the oldest ; and if mere antiquity deserve our homage, let us pay it to the existing generation, for we are the real Simon Pures, and the ancients were but the sucklings and children of the world's growth. If wisdom were occasionally ordained out of their mouths, we possess it superadded to our own, with all the experience of the intervening ages. They were the raw youngsters, and we are the true Nestors. . We show deference to the matured sagacity of the man, not to the crude attempts of the schoolboy: why, then, are we to reverence those collections of men, who, in the pupilage of time, were deemed miracles of precocity if they advanced beyond their A BC? All our impressions upon this subject are but so many mischievous prejudices, which, if we could reduce them to action, would compel the moral world to go backward instead of forward; and we must totally reverse the usual operation of our minds, if we would render proper justice to ourselves and to Antiquity. Nothing can be more ephemeral than our individual existence; but we are the constituents of


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